Tuesday, November 28, 2006
1 pkg active dry yeast, 1 1/3 cups warm water, 3 cups (or so) flour, 2 T olive oil, 1 T salt
Let it rise once, punch it down, divide it into four or six or eight or however many pizzas you want. Let it rest. Bung your pizza stone in the oven. Preheat it to 475 and let the stone heat for at least half an hour. Get on with your topping.
Liberal amounts of left over Thanksgiving Turkey finely chopped.
Beautifully schmaltzy white béchamel sauce seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence Fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter
Cubed Pancetta rendered and golden
Fresh Italian Parsley
Finely grated Gruyere
Roll out small individual pizzas (especially if you have children and they make life difficult about the mushrooms and parsley and turkey, unless you feel like a fight in which case go for a big one!)
Start with the béchamel, then the pancetta, then the parsley, then the mushrooms lovingly arranged, then lots of turkey, (as much as it can hold, really), then the cheese.
In the over for 10 or 15 minutes until golden and delightful. And then, if you can wrench your husband away from the computer for a minute, make the whole family eat it together, wails and cries of distress included.
One or Two small pizzas rolled, lathered in butter, baked, and then spread (while still piping hot) with Nutella.
But most particularly interesting, to me, was how unmoored Queen Victoria (or Judi Dench’s Queen Victoria) was without Prince Albert. Several times in the course of the film she said, ‘I tried always to be guided by my husband’ or ‘I try to think of what my husband would do, even though he is not here, and do that’. She was unable to cope, or rather refused to cope, with every day life. In other words, she was unable to govern herself. In an effort to bring her out of her grief, her staff brings one Mr. Brown on the scene to at least get her out of doors. Mr. Brown is Scottish and aggressive and essentially forces the Queen back into public life.
This rather surprised me. If anyone should have a hold of themselves, I would have thought it would be Queen Victoria (I shouldn’t really be writing, I haven’t read a thing about her, although now I’m going to). And probably in the recesses of my mind, I thought of her as the quintessential ‘feminist’, in the old sense of the word, as in, strong independent woman—after all, she got to be queen and her husband was never allowed to be king. And even more I would have expected a modern interpretation of her life to have skipped out lines like ‘I try always to think of what my husband would do, and do that’.
Modern feminism is really the opposite—find out what your husband wants to do and then do the opposite, or belittle him, or rule over him, or just generally be in charge of everything. The very idea of being guided by another person, particularly a man, is contrary to the modern woman, at least in her conscious mind. But I would wager, even a small amount of money, that if the man she rules would wake up one day and just not take it any more, she might, very much like Queen Victoria, make the best of it, and actually be a lot more relaxed and happy about life as a result. Knowing, of course, as I write this, that I’m liable to be disagreed with in the strongest of terms.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
But the son still wondered what he should do if he did not hear a Voice directing him, till he came to understand that, as he waited, his Father would work and would so shape the events of common life that they would become indications of His will. He was shown also that they would be in accord with some word of Scripture which would be laid upon his heart. This Scripture in the light of these events, and these events in the light of that Scripture, would work together under the hand of his Father, and point in the same direction. And as he followed step by step the way would open before him. Only he was warned to be careful that his eye be single. He must be like David's soldiers, who were not of a double heart. -His thoughts said...The Father Said.
Friday, November 24, 2006
I wasn't going to post a picture of our turkey because it looked so nekked and, well, homegrown. But Matt insists that Nigella (of Nigella Lawson's Feast) says cook the bird breast side down for more even cooking and thereby succulent taste. Looks are sacrificed for flavor. I disagreed when I saw the bird emerge from the oven--Its got to be possible to have that level of flavor (and, by gum, it was the best turkey he's cooked yet--juicy, golden, perfect) and be beautiful. We remain locked in combat.
I sent two pies to the neighbors yesterday. I had no business making four pies for the four of us (baby doesn’t eat pie yet) and it would have been even more sinful to keep them all. So we only have half of an apple left here and half of a pumpkin. I’m searching around for a savory version of sweet potato balls. I guess I’m going to have to make something up. Unless someone can suggest something.
Here is a thought from Amy Carmichael for the day.
After a time of contrary winds and much toil in rowing, He whose name is Wonderful did wondrously, and there was a great calm. Then the son said, Blessed be the Lord God who spoke with His mouth and hath with His hand fulfilled it. There hath not failed one word of all His good promises. Not one thing hath failed thereof. And his Father said, Whoso offereth the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifieth Me; and prepareth a way that I may shew him the salvation of God.
His Thoughts said…His Father said…
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Instead, here's my secret to perfect Apple Pie.
Crust: 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 Tb white sugar, 1 tp salt sifted together
1 cup cold unsalted Butter. Don't fuss around with shortening or anything else. Go for the full butter. Freeze it, take it out and cut it laboriously by hand into the dry ingredients. Then, By HAND, flake the butter into the flour until its a course crumb consistency.
Get a small pitcher of water and add ice. Add the iced water gently with a fork and then go in by HAND to form the dough as gently as possible.
Wrap the dough tightly in cling film and bung it in the fridge.
Filling: 3 enormous granny smith apples or 6 small ones, or a combination of apples (make sure at least two are firm and tart), the juice of a lemon, liberal smattering of cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon all spice, and at least 1/4 cup sugar but more like a 1/2 or a full cup, 1 Tb flour.
Slice the apples thinly into the same bowl you used to make the dough. Squeeze over the lemon, add the sugar and spices. Let it sit and meld together wonderfully while you roll out the dough--top and bottom. Fill the pie. Cover the Pie. Poke the top of the pie with a knife. Bake the pie at 350 for 50 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Let it rest for at least 10 minutes or as long as you can stand it and then, don't fuss around with icecream, just pour full fat cream over the top and eat it as quietly as you can without telling anyone.
Monday, November 20, 2006
More than their portion, wow. And there’s no way 815 is using ‘more than their portion’ sitting in elegance in Manhattan spreading heresy around the globe like so much thick sweet junk food peanut butter.
KJS: About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children.
Times: Episcopalians aren’t interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?
KJS: No. It’s probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion.
But I digress.
The real crux of the matter, as any reasonable person can see, is her amazing assertion “No. Its probably the opposite.” That is, the opposite of having babies. And the opposite of having babies is not having them either by 1. not conceiving them in the first place or 2. killing the ones that have already been conceived.
Now, I know that KJS hasn’t probably read the whole Bible, and if she has, she doesn’t believe that it, but some of us have and do and thus it is incumbent upon us to deal with this assertion, however clunky it may be. And I intend to do so by looking carefully at this verse: But women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. 1Timothy 2:11
First of all, the law against contradictions is important (see post on WO below). Scripture does not contradict itself because God inspired and authored it and he does not contradict himself. So, we know, from the whole witness of scripture that we are saved through the work of Christ alone—men and women (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Romans 10:13-17). In order to be saved it is necessary to put your full faith and trust in Christ who, through his own death and resurrection, accomplished the salvation of all those who believe. Because we know upon what basis all people, men and women, are saved from sin for eternity, we must be talking about something else.
There’s been much speculation about what that something might be, but I’ve some thoughts and observations of my own.
First of all, when Matt and I made the unconscionable decision to have as many children as possible as soon as possible (that is, upon being married), we observed an ill concealed horror behind the eyes of those we had to tell we were expecting our first (but they just got married, why aren’t they waiting, you could hear echoing silently in the air). But everyone got over it when our baby turned out to be the cutest baby EVER (I’ll try to contain myself). We continued happily along until the day we announced the expectation of our third, close on the heels of our second. Horror once again filled the silent air (they already have one of each! What do they want more for?) that should have been filled with congratulations.
Why the horror, I have wondered to myself. I like babies. Why shouldn’t have as many as I want? What on earth would I wait for, to become older and more tired?
And then I met a couple of young women—both married for about 10 years, both still without children. What, for me, is most curious, is that these are not ‘career’ women. They’re not picking a really good job over having kids, (one of them hates her job), and there aren’t any medical problems, they’re just not having kids. They’re just not ‘ready’.
Thing is, its not just these two women that I have met personally. The fact remains, more and many women in America, in the West, are choosing not to have children.
Now, I know, these same serene childless women look at me judgmentally as I shove my way hysterically through the grocery store. My extravagance in children is culturally insensitive and there’s no reason for it, in secular terms. I mean, what are children really for? They’re expensive. They might turn out badly. They make it impossible for me to ‘fulfill’ myself in any way. The moment I manage to sit down, even for a second, I’m back on my feet to arrest the desperate cries for milk and peanut butter ‘n’ sandwich. At the very moment of writing this I have a splitting headache from having held two simultaneously screaming children for a full 15 minutes, unable to convince either of them to stop crying.
And yet, more than ever in my life, I feel beautiful. At the very least, in bearing children, I have been saved from chronic spiritual ugliness.
Women, by virtue of their biological makeup, are given the gift of life in a way that men are not. They are able to hold within their own flesh, their own bodies, the soul and life of another person. However lightly they may take that other life, however pitifully they may understand what is happening to them, nevertheless, this very particular gift has been given to them. And when they choose not to accept it, when they make a conscious choice Not to have children When they are able, that choice carries spiritual consequences.
I’m not talking about women who are unable to physically bear children (and I know there are many) or choose a vocation of celibacy. Nor even those women who have made bad choices and are seeking the grace and mercy of Jesus to heal and forgive them. God is great and good and merciful and (to quote KJS) doesn’t exist inside a box. He not only saves and redeems, he sanctifies and makes beautiful all those who call upon his name.
But there are many many married women who are able to have children and, for whatever reason, decide not to. And it is this decision that carries the consequence of spiritual ugliness. The baseline of carrying a child to term and being delivered of it requires, at a minimum, moving over and making room for another human being. And that moving over is a choice. You either choose to deliver the baby or not. And the choice to deliver births in the woman herself not only selflessness, but great goodness that comes from God alone. The other choice—to not conceive, to not deliver—births selfishness. And when a culture, or in this case a ‘church’, corporately makes a choice against life, against the gifts God gives, that same church become small and selfish.
Friday, November 17, 2006
This picture is not from last night--its from this summer in June. This is a shot just a few yards from the church, which, miraculously, stayed dry (this summer, not last night).
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
I don’t plan to cover every possible theological and Biblical issue associated with WO today. Others, including Matt+, have already covered the subject amply. I’m mostly going to summarize what has already been said in my own words and, perhaps, with my own twist or two.
Where I’m Coming From (if you don’t want to know, just skip down)
First of all, let me just say that I’m not even remotely Anglo-Catholic (AC). And I maintain vigorously that if you insist on being Anglo-Catholic, you have no business being pro WO—in the parousia, your head will explode from the theological inconsistency. So Ms/Rev Elizabeth Kaeton calling herself a ‘passionate Anglo-Catholic with a joyful evangelical spirit’ doesn’t make any logical sense. If you think that the priest ‘stands in the place of Christ’ in the Eucharist, a woman has no place on the altar. Jesus was a man. He was not some sort of androgynous man-woman person.
But I am not AC. I’m an Evangelical all the way down the line, Reformed in fact (more Calvinist even than my esteemed husband, who will not allow me to preach the full extent of my rabidness from the pulpit). In so saying I am not ascribing to the poison of relativism. I don’t really think its okay to be AC—I think they’re wrong, as surely as I think I am right, but I’m happy to live with them in love and Christian Charity.
Within the Reformed framework, Scripture is absolutely primary. Scripture is, apart from the person of Jesus Christ, the greatest and most precious gift God has given us. It is logical, consistent, it does not contradict itself, it does not err, and best of all it is sufficient. In so far as we do not understand parts of it, it is our own fault, not God’s (the result of sin induced blindness).
In the context of this discussion it is important to note that I stand within the rich Anglican tradition of Hookerian freedom: if a given idea, practice, or behavior doesn’t contradict scripture or principles directly derived from scripture (that is if Scripture doesn’t prescribe against it), then it is, generally speaking, permissable for the Church to exercise her own judgement.
What’s in the Bible
With that said, let's turn briefly to look at the relevant scriptures. I know, they’re all chunked together here, but its ok, go ahead and read through them.
"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:33-35
"Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ and the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head–, it is just as though her head were shaved....For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God." (1 Corinthians 11:3-12)
"A woman should learn in full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over man; she should be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety." 1 Timothy 2:11
"When Priscilla and Aquilla heard him [Apollos], they invited them to their home [which according to Paul in Romans 16:1 was a home-church] and explained to him the way of God more adequately." Acts 18.
Ok, let’s get down to the proverbial brass tack.
First, most scholars agree that though there were visible distinctions between men and women (head coverings for women), they were worshipping together, not in separate places as some have suggested. It is likely, however, that they were on different sides or ends of the church. It is very likely that women were not as well educated or as well-versed in the language being used in worship as men--some were, some, perhaps were not.
Second, we have a problem. One basic principle in Reformed theology is the principle or law of non-contradiction; that Scripture does not contradict scripture. God speaks with one voice.
So when Paul says, ‘women should remain silent in the churches’ (1 Cor 14:33-34) and ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or hold authority…she should be silent’ (1 Tim 2:11) and then turns around and says, ‘every woman who prays of prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head (1 Cor 11:3-12)’, he has created a paradox, an apparent contradiction.
Has he indeed contradicted himself? At first glance it would seem so. To ‘prophesy’ involves either giving a ‘word of knowledge’ (that is, a word about a future event or state of affairs through the prompting of the Holy Spirit) OR expounding on some Scripture or word already given, a sort of ‘testimonial’ or short exposition.
So it seems as if Paul is saying: women may never speak and teach in the assembly of the faithful, AND when they do they must cover their heads.
This cannot be the case for obvious reasons.
To quote my articulate and clever husband,
“If Paul’s admonition for women to keep quiet in all times and in all places in church is universal then his making rules to circumscribe the public praying and prophesying of women in the liturgical service of worship is not only difficult to reconcile, it is an outright contradiction. To say A can never act as B after laying down rules to apply when A acts as B is nonsensical. Paul was anything but nonsensical and the Holy Spirit is never the author of nonsense.”
So, for logic’s sake alone, it makes the best sense to presume that 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy are not to be universally applied. This makes further sense knowing that women, at that time, were not generally afforded the same educational opportunities as men and might, because of language and educational differences, not always have understood what was going on or being taught.
And, in their new found freedom in Christ, they very well might have risen up, in wonderment and curiosity, and remarked, out loud, that they did not know what was going on, or asked questions aloud. In which case, if Paul had been presiding (or, in this case, writing to a Celebrant or Presbyter who doesn’t know what to do with the loud and unruly women in his congregation) he would have requested that these women ask their husbands at home afterwards. In other words, don’t take that precious hour on Sunday morning to answer everyone’s questions. It will be too disruptive.
But when, in the usual order and structure of worship, and in the appropriate manner, women stand up to speak, make sure they cover their heads as is befitting and honorable. Most especially because if a woman is flitting around the church without a sensible head covering, it may seem to a new believer struggling with letting go of his past life, that all these nice Christian women are loose and available—definitely not the case.
Which leads me to my third, and probably, most controversial point: the Man is the Head of the Woman, just as Christ is the Head of the Church. Given the whole scope of Paul’s writing, and the Scriptures entire, order is paramount. The earth and all therein was created in order. When, through the failed headship of Adam, sin disrupted that order, Christ the true Head came and put everything back in order.
Therefore, the church, the very bride and body of Christ, must be in order. In creation, the man was created first, and the woman for the man. In the church, that order is sustained in that the man is the head of the household, just as Christ is the head of the Church. It is in this context that women’s ministry, especially in speaking, may be considered.
Pricilla ministered in conjunction with but under the headship of her husband. We know she ministered (her name even comes first, probably because she was more sparkling than Aquila—some people are just more interesting than other people), and we know she ministered with her husband (she is never mentioned alone—it doesn’t say, and then Priscilla took Apollos in to straighten out his weird theology).
Then, in 1 Corinthians, women prophesied in the order and regularity of a church of which a man was head, under the ultimate headship of Christ. They weren’t in charge, but when a word from the Holy Spirit came, it was given, not in some separate cloistered room behind a screen with a whisper, but in the assembly of the faithful AND, in good order.
What then may we conclude?
Primarily we may say with gusto and joy that this business of a lot of women occupying every place of leadership in the church is not biblical. Women did leading and speaking in the Bible, but they are by no means all over the place. For every fifteen Pauls, Apollos, Peters etc, there is only one Priscilla etc. Not only is it not biblical, it is not healthy. The fastest most efficient way of getting all the real men to leave a church is to put all the women in charge of everything and then encourage all these women to go home and nag and boss their husbands. I think we’ve seen this strategy carried out pretty effectively in TEC today.
Secondly, a woman should be in full submission to her own husband, and then, if she serves in a church, to her male rector. If her husband isn’t willing to step up to his place as head, he puts her in a precarious position when she steps out to teach. And, if her rector is fairly uninterested in leading as well, she is in a real mess. In other words, it is not always a sure provision (headship that is) but it is better than nothing. I say this not because I think the average believing priested woman is going to have bad theology and lead everyone astray, but because she is liable to be stomped on and she will then either have to step up and become the man (which is foolish and unhelpful) or become shrill. I am not speaking of the actual average ordained woman in TEC who, I think I can safely say, is teaching heresy with afore mentioned gusto.
But what is particularly damaging is having a woman rector, with a woman assistant, with two women wardens and then maybe a nice quiet man as the church sexton. Of all the heresies, of all the mess TEC is in, of all the hundreds of daily dysfunctional ecclesiastical situations, this one burns me up the most.
I know its tempting, pride not withstanding, to stand up in every situation and speak with scintillating brilliance. It’s particularly tempting, at the Narthex door, shaking hands and smiling, when people (women especially) whisper, ‘I just love Fr. Matt and he’s a very good speaker, but you, I really love your sermons’—its tempting to leap up, head enswelled, and volunteer for every job . It’s even tempting to lay it on thick to the highly dysfunctional, theologically clunky, biblically illiterate men in a congregation (although, really, there aren’t any), giving them the spiritual guidance they so richly deserve. But there is no quicker way to turn these same men off to the Good News of God in Jesus Christ. And when the men leave, the balance and order disappear, and you are left with a shell of a church, the walls ruined, the gates torn asunder, a place so tolerant and open as to be completely inhospitable. May God have mercy on those of us who would have helped create such a place.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Mix it all together (I in my kitchen aid) making sure that the salt doesn’t hit the yeast directly. Kneed for roughly ten minutes. Let it rise till doubled in size, punch it down, form rolls and loaves, rise again, bake at 350 degrees until golden and satisfying.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Nevertheless, courage or no, today is rightly rains, and I hope it is because God himself is thoroughly fed up with the Republican party, as, indeed, we all should be. I had hoped they would hold on, even by the thinnest of threads, to the House and Senate, but now that they have lost on all fronts, I hope they buckle under and do the work they should have done in the first place.
In an effort to do my own civic, motherly duty, I plunked E down yesterday and read her two stories, one on the Puritans, one on Ben Franklin, and had her color a picture of a flag. And I explained that I and her Father would be going later to vote. She wailed with woe, “I will miss you! Will you be gone many days?”
“Ack, no” I said, “It will only take a few minutes if there is no line.”
“Will it hurt?”
“Not at all,” I said, “until maybe later, like tomorrow. Let’s fold laundry.”
Later, having recovered, she announced, “Tomorrow, I will be Princess E and everyone will call me Princess E.”
“Oh really,” I said.
“No” she changed her mind, “ I will be Queen E and I will wear a crown.”
“Maybe,” I said, “but you will be doing school.”
“I will wear a crown and a dress.”
“Fine,” I said.